tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 18, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EDT
answer. that's been my experience. >> do you feel for the first time you've gone back to the joy of life you had as a young boy? >> yes. it is remarkably the same. >> kelsey, it's been a real pleasure. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. remarkable interview. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts now. we begin tonight with keeping them honest, herman cain has been telling people to lighten up and not take everything he says so seriously, especially about remarks he's made about stopping illegal immigration. he said he's only joking and said it again this evening. but new polling shows him to be a serious candidate. he's in a virtual tie with mitt romney. so now people are taking everything he says seriously, whether he likes it or not. as to whether you like what he's saying or not, that's entirely up to you. keeping them honest, whatever political position you happen to have, the question for herman
cain or anyone wanting to be president is this, can you be a serious candidate without serious scrutiny of what you say and how you say it? here's what he said saturday about illegal immigration. >> i tell you what, when i'm in charge of the fence, we're going to have a fence, it will be 20 feet high and have barbed wire on the top, it will be electrocuted -- electrified. and there's going to be a sign on the other side that said, it will kill you. >> herman cain at a campaign stop in tennessee on saturday. sunday on "meet the press," he said, just joking. >> on immigration, you said it at an event in tennessee that you would build an electrified fence on the border that could kill people if they try to cross illegally. >> that's a joke, david. >> it's a joke. >> that's a joke. >> that's not a serious plan. >> that's not a serious plan, no, it's not. >> you got a big laugh. >> that's a joke. i've also said that america needs to get a sense of humor. that was a joke, okay? >> the head of the congressional hispanic caucus today not
laughing. texas democrat charlie gonzalez saying, quote, whether or not he made his comments in jest, mr. cain's words show a lack of understanding of the immigration issues our country is facing and a staggering lack of sensitivity. mr. cain's opponent michele bachmann also weighing in today calling the issue, "no laughing matter." whatever you think of it this isn't the first time that mr. cain's tried to get a laugh out of the issue. here is an appearance back in june. >> we put a man on the moon. it might be part great wall and part electrical technology. you know. i was describing my fence to somebody tonight. got a call and said that's insistent. i said, what's insistent? i said put energy on the fence. it will be a 20-foot wall, barbed wire, electrified on the top.
and on this side of the fence i'd have that moat that president obama talked about and put alligators in that moat. >> that was in june. two months later herman cain saying lighten up. >> you upped the ante with a 20-foot barbed wire electrified fence. were you serious? >> america has got to learn how to take a joke. >> now, it's pretty clear that herman cain is neither a professional politician or a polished candidate. he makes no claim that he is. in fact, takes pride in the fact that he's not. last month he told supporters that political correctness is not one of his strong points, then went on to prove it with more remarks about illegal immigrants. if we can keep a dog in a yard with an invisible fence, don't you think we can keep people from sneaking into this country. now i know i'm going to get written up for talking about putting, you know, invisible fences and treating illegal immigrants like dogs.
but it's not just dogs, fences and immigrants, a few years back the subject was tiger woods. this was pre9 iron, predivorce. touting tiger woods as presidential material. he wrote, the republican party should begin grooming him now for a run at the white house. his personal attributes and accomplishments on the golf course point to a candidate who he about a problem solver, not a politician. sunday he said -- wait for it -- >> that was a joke. >> that was a joke? >> that was a joke, okay? that was a joke. america's got to learn how to have a sense of humor, okay? >> it sounds pretty serious. >> i can be pretty serious, but also there's some things that, you know, you just kind of take tongue in cheek and you don't make a big deal out of it. all right? >> earlier this evening herman cain spoke with john king about his immigration remarks. >> john, yeah, i haven't learned how to be politically correct yet. so, yes, it probably wasn't the right thing to say. and i did not mean to offend anybody.
>> so cain certainly not backing down as he also does in south carolina he mentioned his lack of political correctness as a virtue if not a badge of honor. will it hurt or help him in the primaries and potentially further down the road? let's talk about it with gloria borger, ari fleischer. you can follow him on twitter @arifleischer. also with us, republican strategist mary matalin and bill burton, who is president obama's former deputy press secretary. bill, thank you for being with us as well. mary, is this much ado about nothing? is it the problem that america doesn't have a sense of human or the media doesn't? or that herman cain -- >> he needs to -- the surge for him is serious. it is an attraction to a message that is the 75% of the people that still don't support mitt romney. he needs to stay a happy warrior. but he needs to get serious. it is not politically correct to have to answer questions about particularly the 9% sales tax,
or you don't have to know the name of the president of uzbekistan, but you need to have clear foreign policy principles. so you can get away with that when you're the third man or you're just one of eight, but when he's the front-runner, he's got to put some flesh on the funny. >> what about that, ari? he says that people need to lighten up and not take everything he says as seriously as -- you know, why can't he make a joke? >> he's right, but up to a limit, up to a ceiling. because if you're going to become, as mary says, a serious presidential contender, you have to go beyond the lines of make a crowd whoop and cheer and you have to be presidential. and i think what herman cain is going to have to find is that happy medium between not being politically correct, one of his strengths and exciting on the campaign trail, his blunt straight speech. you don't offend people and don't try to kill people which is what electric fences do. he went too far, he needs to pull it back but still not be politically correct. >> i don't think you tell the
american people they need to have a sense of humor. you don't tell. >> that line got a big applause, though, at the last debate. >> it did. but we're in the state of nevada. you want to tell hispanics here in this state that they ought to have a sense of humor about immigration policy in this is a candidate who is being vet on the campaign trail. we don't know a lot about him. we'll learn more about him. he's gone from the lowest tier to the top tier. and he's somebody who's attractive for people who are looking for a straight shooter, somebody who talks plainly, but he's got to learn what he says now that he has a lot of implications. can you imagine if a president of the united states had said what herman cain said about that fence? what would that be? >> bill burton, do you agree with that, that he needs to dial it back? >> well, you know, i've been surprised at herman cain's rise. it's sort of astounding to see someone who has a tax plan that's so regressive as his play such a role in the republican primary. but i agree with mary, his rise
says more about the 75% of the republican pramry go hes who don't like mitt romney, than it is about herman cane. you look at the string of fairly unserious statements that he's made. you look at his policies, and you think, is this really the answer for the republican party? astoundingly actually more people in the republican party think that he is compared to mitt romney who is the perceived front-runner in washington right now. >> but ari, i think you raise an important point. i was hearing people on twitter saying the same thing. they like the bluntness of herman cain. in a field of polished candidates, and some may say overpolished candidates, he stands out as being this blunt guy. >> this is a year where people are fed up with washington and the blow-dried-hair ways of washington. cain has tapped into that. he's tapped into pushing back against political correctness. but you have to push back cleverly, you have to push back in a way that's presidential. that's the line he has to walk. it's also a lesson, anderson, in
when you run for president, how hard it is, how many rookies make mistakes. the trick is do you learn from them and go on to a higher, more presidential level? >> mary, is he really running for president? because there's some who say he's basically on a large book tour and he's now suddenly surged in the poll, so he's clearly in this thing. does he have staff, does he have enough people around him? >> well, no. he has the big mo, as one of our old bosses used to say, but he's a no show in the states. i don't care what your message is -- and he has a superior message, although it's not fleshed out. you have to have -- to get people in the dead of winter, for four hours to a caucus in iowa, that's not an organic event. you have to have an organization. everybody is dismissing perry. he has a very solid apparition on the ground in south carolina and cain does not have those things in place any more. that's not to say he is very use useful in the field, and his message is appropriate for
conservatives in this race. and it's not just getting serious or getting political, people don't like politicians, they want some subject area expertise. they don't want -- they want some knowledge in there. >> that's why mitt romney, of course, keeps saying that he's a businessman and he's an outsider, because that's the appeal of the cain. i love hearing bill burton say, oh, the cain rise tells you something about mitt romney because, of course, the white house thinks that mitt romney would be the toughest to beat. so whatever -- the rise of herman cain is really about mitt romney, it's not about herman cain. >> it is amazing, gloria. >> yeah. >> just amazing that mitt romney's been running for president for five years. he spent tens of millions of dollars and his support just has hit the ceiling. people in the republican primary just have a fundamental concern with mitt romney, for whatever reason it is. i think that a guy like herman cain being able to step into the fold and get as much support as mitt romney is fairly amazing.
>> do you agree that this is some sort of commentary on the front-runners? >> no question about it. there's still the anti-romney element out there in the republican party, but anderson, it almost doesn't matter. that's always the case in a multi-candidate field. as long as you have seven or eight candidates, the front-runner will only have 25 frs or 30%. that's math. it will eventually go down where romney has 30, 35 plurality and that's how you get a winner. >> cain has twice as much support among tea party voters than mitt romney. you see where his support is coming from. he's taking it away from perry and bachmann. and even paul. >> we'll talk about rick perry coming up tonight. thank you for joining us, stick around. we'll have a lot more with you
this hour. next, more about the people who are pushing herman cain to the top of the polls. who are the fans of herman cain? let us know what you think on facebook. follow me on twitter @andersoncooper. i'll try to be tweeting in this hour. later, the people who made mitt romney's religion an issue in the campaign. will it lose him the evangelical vote and what does it mean to be a mormon? we'll take you inside the fast growing and sometimes misunderstood faith. any moment now an israeli prisoner held by years by hamas could go free. a young israeli soldier. the price being paid for the freedom is steep. we're century we're committed to improving lives and linking americans to what matters most with honest, personal service... 5-year price-lock guarantees... consistently fast speeds ... and more ways to customize your technology. ♪ we are now printing on the back sides of used paper and we switched to fedex cause a lot of their packaging contains recycled materials.
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now more on herman cain. he's surging in the polls thanks in large part to his 9-9-9 plan. tomorrow night could be a time for him to solidify his spot in the race. with raw politics, here's gary tuchman. >> no more entitlements. no more entitlements. >> say this about herman cain, he's running a different sort of a campaign for the republican nomination. >> i want to leave you with something special i haven't done all day. ♪ amazing grace ♪ will always be >> reporter: singing spirituals isn't new for cain. the georgia native is a recorded gospel singer and an associate baptist minister.
what is new is his front-runner status. now cain, who has not done much traditional campaigning, is beginning to do just that. >> he's not a politician. he's a businessman. he can get it done. >> reporter: for many, the idea that cain is an outsider is part of his appeal. at tennessee tech university in cookeville, tennessee, cain declared he liked this banner. honkies for herman. >> i'm sure some of your neighbors and friends and colleagues or family member, you're going to one of those tea party rallies? yeah. they're trying to intimidate you to stay home. but aren't they a bunch of racists? well -- >> no! >> when i looked in the mirror this morning i was black. >> reporter: over the weekend cain barnstormed through tennessee attending six rallies. there are fewer than 20,000 people who live here in humphreys county, tennessee. but this turnout is huge, particularly for an area where so few people live.
>> all of a sudden the long shot isn't such a long shot any more. how about them apples? >> i like romney, and if he gets the nomination, i'll support him. but i think that herman cain is more in touch with what the people want. >> he seems to be a straight shooter, and just like some of the conservative views that he's putting out there. >> i think he's more like me than anyone else running, and i vote for him. >> reporter: tell me why you think he's more like yourself than anyone running. >> he's a country folk. >> reporter: a lot of people tell us this they like you because you're plain spoken. a man of the people. in '76 they said that about jimmy carter. >> yeah. >> reporter: any comparisons that you see there? >> no comparison at all. >> reporter: cain himself likes to compare himself to ronald reagan and talks about the shining city on the hill and sees himself as an economic savior. >> it's called the 9-9-9 plan.
>> reporter: cain's 9-9-9 tax plan is also now a madison avenue style catch phrase. >> i like the 9-9-9 plan, especially the sales tax part of it. >> reporter: herman cain says he's in it to win it. ♪ >> reporter: as he fry tries to get those who doubt the viability of his candidacy to change their tune. ♪ >> i love you. >> gary tuchman joins us now. we've seen the reaction there from the crowd. were people surprised to hear him singing, or is that just part of what makes him different? >> i think people were surprised, but i think it was a very shrewd move. i don't expect to see other candidates singing, dancing or
doing card tricks on the campaign trail. but it worked for him particularly in the bible belt. people got very inspired. i saw one guy as herman cain finish run up to the stage, herman, herman, herman, come back. some guy said to him, what are you running for? and the guy held up a handful of money. i want to give herman cain $200 right now. it seemed to work for him in tennessee. >> gary, appreciate it. tomorrow's debate could be pivotal to the cain campaign. what does he need to do to maybe solidify his base and win over undecided voters? back us with is gloria borger. and let us bring in john king. are you surprised about the rise of herman cain? everyone is surprised. >> absolutely. you have to tip your hat because of his discipline, the 9-9-9 plan. however we're about to learn more about him. at the debate tomorrow you'll treat him as a viable candidate. in the other debate he was in single digits. the stakes are different now. the plan is being scrutinized. a lot of the people in gary's piece saying i really like him, if he stays at this point in
polls, his opponents will start running ads against him. you like it? you'll pay more taxes under him. i had a conversation with him earlier today, and he concedes some people will pay more. and the people most likely to pay more, if this passes, mind you, are the people who have been hurt the most by recession already. are those people -- >> who are not earning enough right now to pay taxes. >> perot type supporters. the appeal of ross perot, they know if he's elected, he'll raise you know what in washington. they like that. the question is is there a ceiling? and i suspect yes. >> in terms of his organization -- >> what organization? there isn't any organization. sort of a back of the envelope campaign. you mentioned before like a book tour. it's kind of a book tour. i think the more credible he gets, the more republican strategists you're going to see want to come on board. but i don't think he has a credible campaign at this point. what he has is good debate performances. people like him because he comes across as the anti-politician. he's almost the anti-romney if you will.
>> interesting because i was doing research reading the transcripts of all the debates. two candidates will be arguing about something, then he will come in and say, well, i don't care about the arguments. here's how you fix it. it always gets a big applause. >> he's a turnaround guy. if you talk to the head of pillsbury who hired him to turn around godfather's pizza. he's a doer. the question is, though, he doesn't have many foreign policy answers. as people start to view him more as a president, will that be the problem he faces? and again, if you look at the appeal of a ross perot, he did very well. he got 20 million votes in general election where he can pay to put himself on the ballot. herman cain can't do that. he's not on the ballot in many states. tennessee has zero impact on the republican nominating process, because it's so far down the road. >> right. >> why are you there? >> right. >> part of it is book signings and he's making money selling his book. he's lost some staffers. people resigned in iowa, in new hampshire. >> i did read a quote from
somebody on his campaign saying we're doing the strategy that president obama did back in the general election which is running a national campaign and kind of shoring up long term. >> i don't think he can do that. >> obama went to south dakota which actually voted early and a lot of people said, why do you want those delegates. and against hillary clinton it turned out to be the right approach. he doesn't have the fund-raising. >> you're saying it's purely about selling books. >> it's not about being a president. maybe it's bad strategy. i don't want to read his mind. >> he doesn't have the discipline that a presidential candidate needs. he's fond of saying, i don't have the facts to back this up but -- well, you can't say that when you're a presidential candidate. >> some people will find it refreshing, at least he admits, i don't have the facts on this but says his opinion whereas a lot of candidates will say something as if it's fact when they don't have the facts. >> in my experience, it's a good idea when you're a presidential candidate you want to say something because you want people to believe you and follow
you, this is what i've learned from traveling the country and here's why and here are the facts and here's why 9-9-9 will work for you and here's why it will reduce your taxes. now he's being vetted. and people are saying, it's going to raise the taxes. >> how hard will the other candidates go after him in tomorrow's debate? >> they won't go after him politically because they all admire his political skills. but on the 9-9-9 plan it doesn't add up. they will look to the camera and say, if you are an average family making $40,000 with four children, you might like this guy, you're going to pay more. the question is how many of those people vote in republican primaries. then they'll look to challenge him on the bigger issues. this immigration answer, one in four voters in this state of nevada are latinos. republicans believe they can cut into the numbers that president obama had last time. now herman cain says it's a joke. an incredibly insensitive joke to say we have a fence that will electrocute people. they will say, you are not a serious candidate, you can't expand the map. not that many tea party
candidates won statewide. they won in little house races. they didn't win state wide because you have a ceiling when you have controversial answers like that. >> rick perry and michele bachmann will really go after him. he's taking their votes. >> i read that michele bachmann was critical about his comments today on that electrified fence. thanks. up next, a second evangelical with close ties to rick perry, taking shots admit romney's faith. are these attacks on the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints, mormonism, becoming a problem or is it part of a campaign strategy? we'll talk about that. the mother of a missouri baby breaking her silence with a string of new admissions. what she's saying about the night her daughter disappeared. [ inner voice ] establish connection. give me voice control. applications up. check my email and text messages. hands in position. airbags. ten of 'em. perfect.
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welcome back. we're coming to you live from las vegas tonight. isha sesay joins us with a "360" news bulletin. >> forces tied to libya's new government says they've taken control of one of the last cities loyal to gadhafi. government fighters took the hospital there, and captured dozens of soldiers. this leaves sirte as the only major city up for grabs. the missouri mother of a missing baby now admits she was drunk when her daughter disappeared. in an interview with nbc deborah bradley now claims she lost her little daughter several hours before she initially believed. she went on to say, she fears police will arrest her, causing people to stop searching for little lisa. in aruba, authorities have
refused to release american gary giordano. he's being held in connection with the disappearance of his traveling companion robyn gardner who was last seen on an aruban beach on august 2nd. apple is breaking sales records with the iphone 4-s. the company sold more than four million of them since it launched last friday. that's twice as many as the iphone 4 during its opening weekend last year. vincent van gogh is now at the center of a murder mystery. a new book claims he may not have really committed suicide 121 years ago. instead, the authors tell "60 minutes" he may have been shot by local children and then chose to cover up their crime. just when you think you know what happened. >> i know, intriguing. time now for the shot. you're going to have to watch tomorrow's debate to see where each candidate will be standing on the stage. but i can guarantee you they will be on the stage, unlike the sketch from "saturday night
live." take a look at this. >> let's go back to the janitor's closet. michele bachmann and newt gingrich. neither of you are going to win, and you're starting to waste our time. >> that's fair. >> agreed. >> at the end of tonight's debate, we will unlock the door to your room. whoever is still standing can come to the next debate. whoever isn't is out of the race. >> i don't understand. >> wow. that's not going to happen tomorrow night. >> no. >> yeah, not at all. up next another evangelical backing rick perry bashing mitt romney's faith. we'll have the raw politics on that tonight. plus digging deeper on romney's faith and whether it could have an impact at the polls. also the breaking news any moment now an israeli soldier held by hamas for five years could be freed in exchange for hundreds of palestinian prisoners. a live report on the controversial swap ahead.
it's early. it's important. new hampshire, we're not sure about the date of the new hampshire primary yet. that's a big controversy. nevada's early. so all of this is going to be really front loaded, anderson. >> certainly for some of these candidates, herman cain, the fact that it is -- how much earlier is it, january 3rd? >> last time around it was if february. >> how does that affect some of these candidates running who don't have the organization? >> this whole campaign could be over at the end of january. in 2000 when i worked for george w. bush, it ended in march. the early guy with the most money gets the best advantage. if you beat them early, if you don't have the infrastructure to keep going, that's the problem now when you move everything up. >> here's the complication, it's only over early if romney wins it. romney's trying to decide even as we speak, if he's going to play there, and play a lot the last time he lost. so if he invests, if you're wearing the banner of inevitability, you got a win.
if he plays and loses, then it goes longer. but if he plays and wins, then ari's right. >> but you know, it's interesting, with the rise of herman cain, i think that romney has more of a shot at iowa, ironically, because -- >> because it divides with michele bachmann and divides up with cain. >> exactly. he can be low key about it. but lo and behold if he does to are dragging people out four hours in the dead of winter. if you're there, you're there. people know what's going on. the only way to do it is to do it. >> more "raw politics" right now. another evangelical rick perry supporter striking out at romney's faith. is this some sort of strategy? his name the david lane. last month, jerry falwell's liberty university governor perry had high prize from mr. lane. >> david lane, thank you for coming out here today.
we've been involved in some great battles together, and standing up for the values that are important for this country. america is going to be guided by some set of values. the question is going to be whose values? and david lane and i, and i would suggest most of the people in this audience, believe it's those christian values that this country was based upon. >> christian values. now, members of the church of latter-day saints, the mormons, consider themselves to be a branch of christianity, but many evangelicals do not agree with that, including david lane, as you'll see in a moment. also including another influential perry supporter robert jeffress who touched off a storm at the value voters conference. here's what he said. why do you believe the mormon church is a cult? >> again, when i talk about a cult, anderson, i'm talking about a theological cult as opposed to a sociological cult. it is a religion that has a human founder versus a divine
founder. joseph smith is the founder of mormonism versus jesus christ whom we look at as the head of our church. and secondly, cults tend to look the other religious texts outside the bible for their guidance. mormonism, for example, certainly accepts the bible, but it accepts the newer, fresher revelation, the book of mormon that came from the angel moroni, supposedly to joseph smith. so for that reason, i'm saying it's a theological cult. i know that's a loaded term. and it has never been considered, anderson, as a part of historic christianity. >> that was robert jeffress, two fridays ago. the website the daily beast is out with e-mails from david lane and a man named dick bott who runs a network. christian talk radio network. bott told lane he'd be taping an interview with pastor jeffress. what would anyone think if a candidate were a scientologist? shouldn't they want to know what the implications were that may
flow from where they come? getting out of the message juxtaposing traditional christianity to the false god of mormonism is very important in the larger scheme of things. david lane is not on the perry payroll. let's make that clear. a perry spokesman tells the daily beast that it has nothing to do with the campaign. the romney campaign also refused to comment on the daily beast story. so in a moment, the political panel on whether mitt romney and the lds church are maybe being targeted by evangelicals. first, some background on the faith itself. digging deeper now, here is tom foreman an. >> reporter: in new york state in 1820, a teenaged boy went to pray in the woods about conflicts between christian churches. that's when mormon history says joseph smith had a heavenly vision, to build a new church all together. ♪
today there are 14 million mormons. the core in utah where smith's followers fled after years of persecution. aggressive recruitment has always been key to the more properly named church of jesus christ of latter-day saints, yet the faith remains mysterious to many americans. so much so that mitt romney, perhaps the country's most famous mormon at the moment, was attacked even in his first run for president. >> hello, sir, how are you? >> i'm one person who will not vote for a mormon. >> oh, is that right? can i shake your hand anyway? >> no! >> reporter: the resistance is toughest from evangelical christians. >> those of us who are born again followers of christ should prefer a competent christian to a competent non-christian like mitt romney. >> reporter: mormons say they are absolutely christian. at vanderbilt university kathleen flake teaches religious history.
>> the voters who are vetting him want religion in politics and they want a particular religion in politics. they want jesus and they want a particular kind of jesus. and they're not sure that romney is going to deliver that jesus to them. so it's a very different situation for them politically. >> reporter: so what do mormons believe? they believe in jesus and the bible as a holy book, but they also hold the book of mormon in equal esteem and say god still speaks to living church leaders. they meet weekly in chapels, but their temples are reserved for the most important ceremonies which only the faithful may attend. baptisms which can be performed on behalf of people who have been dead for years, weddings, which are believed to bind families together for eternity. good mormons drink no alcohol, tea or coffee and eat meat in moderation. many wear special undergarments as reminders of their faith and go on missions for up to two years with little family contact.
they believe ancient humans came to north america, the garden of eden was in missouri and in a rare interview a few years back, church apostle russell ballard told our gary tuchman, jesus came here, too. >> we know that he came and touched the people and restored the gospel to them. >> reporter: has jesus returned here to the united states in your beliefs? >> oh, yes. >> reporter: still, probably the most well known mormon practice is one the church distinctly outlawed more than a century ago -- polygamy. >> there you are. >> reporter: the forbidden practice has been thrust into the spotlight by hbo's "big love" and scandals involving offshoots of mormonism like the one led by warren jeffs who is now in jail. it all adds up to extra bumps on the campaign trail for mitt romney and what in the end could be a major test of faith and tolerance for the nation. tom foreman, cnn, washington.
>> back now with our political panel. gloria borger, ari fleischer, mary matalin, bill burton. ari, when you hear people associated with rick perry or have been on the stage with rick perry attacking mitt romney and his faith, what do you make of it? >> i find this extremely distasteful. our constitution says there's no religious test for the presidency or for any high office or low office. that's the spirit on which our country was founded. you can be atheist, you can be religious, can you be buddhist. there is no religious test. rick perry is getting a bum rap if people think he's pushing it. just because david lane is doing it, that's not rick perry. he doesn't work for rick perry. he's doing this -- everything i can see, on his own. the perry people have not weighed in on this. i don't think they deserve blame for this. >> is it important to have a guy robert jeffress who introduced rick perry on the stage at the values voter statement, then went off stage and called mitt romney a member of a cult.
>> rick perry did wade in to the extent that he said it is not a cult. but this election is not going to be about christian theology any more than the last one was about black theology. at the end of the day, evangelicals mormons, atheists have the same priorities. the economy and all the reforms that need to happen to get this country moving again. the numbers show that even outside of these sets of issues that the bigger concern for voters is if a candidate had no beliefs. as long as they had a belief, then i don't think it's going to be -- >> and a large majority of the american public -- and we're not talking about the evangelical slice of the republican party, believe that religion should not count. it's like 70 or 80%. so it's interesting because mitt romney went through this the last time around. he had to give a speech on his religion. i don't think you're going to see him do that again. and by the way, anderson, let me correct myself, because the iowa caucuses were also in early january.
>> the last time around. >> but i forgot. >> there's a recent "time" magazine poll that shows romney outperforming rick perry even among evangelical voters in a matchup against president obama. how important is the evangelical vote at this point in the primaries? >> i think it's very important. and i think a lot of folks assume that rick perry would come into this race and be able to scoop up a lot of the real conservative, the real evangelical voters. but as a result of his poor performance, especially in the debates, but also out on the campaign trail, i think that his support has really lagged behind where people thought he would be for a whole host of reasons. but the good news for rick perry is he has more money in 'n the bank than anybody in the race. this isn't over just yet. but nobody can deny that his performance has been pretty poor so far and it is reflected in a lot of different voting groups. >> we'll see what happens tomorrow night from the debate that i moderate from las vegas.
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prisoners. the prisoners, some believed to be in these vehicles you're looking at, have started leaving an israeli jail and most will be freed in the west bank. many of the prisoners are serving life sentences for terror attacks in israel. this young man who's been held by hamas for five years. now, schalit was just 19 years old when palestinian militants attacked his tank in 2006 killing two men and taking him prisoner. fred klein joins us with more. this prisoner exchange is expected to happen in stages. what can you tell us is meant to occur? >> this is a process that's been worked out between the israeli authorities, hamas, and the egyptian authorities that are going to play a big part in all of this.
it seems as though the palestinian prisoners are being transferred -- the two points -- you have female prisoners in one batch and males in the other. only 27 female prisoners, they will be released first. schalit is going to be transferred from israel to gaza. the male palestinian prisoners, the first batch, about 450 of them are going to be released. then what's going to happen is, schalit is going to be brought to an israeli military base in central israel, he's going to get medical checks. and finally, he's going to be taken by helicopter here where,
of course, you're going to receive a hero's welcome. people have already draped the down, they've decorated trees, saying welcome home. it is a sensitive process that's been worked on by both sides for the past few days. >> one of the palestinian prisoners about to be released as part of this deal, what is their destination once they are released? >> that's an interesting question. most of the palestinian frizzer ins prisoners are going to be released to gaza. over 200 of these prisoners will go to gaza, some will go to the west bank. some will be deported to other places. this was really an important part of the deal, because israel feels that some of these prisoners could still be a problem to its security, could resort to violence in the future. and so they said some of them will have to be transferred to
other countries. turkey is believed to be one of these other countries, syria, and qatar. there are restrictions on the movement of some of the prisoners that are going to be released to the west bank. some of them are not allowed to go everywhere they want. some of the ones from the west bank will be brought to gaza, where, of course, it will be impossible for them to enter israel again, and make it back to the west bank. >> thank you. erin burnett out front is ahead at 11:00 p.m. eastern. >> we'll find out if there's going to be a basketball season or not. $4 billion in revenue on the line. we talked to david stern. you're in vegas, we're going to talk about these big bold ideas being thrown out there. do the democrats have one. plus, a little singing on out front. but not by me, because that would be terrible. >> we look forward to it, erin, thanks. coming up, the ridiculist, herman cain jokes.
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welcome back. coming to you live from las vegas outside the lovely venetia hotel. tonight the ridiculist. we're adding all the jokes about herman cain's pizza past. now that he's topping the polls seems no one can refrain about making jokes about how he's the former ceo of a pizza place. jokes like topping the polls. people are making way too much about this pizza connection. they're extra cheesy. and cain himself rarely talks about pizza. >> the original godfather's crust was a big crust that was pounded down from a new york style crust -- i mean a chicago style crust. it's not the price of the pizza. it's not a pizza deal.
it's a collection of small businesses. godfather's pizza's the same way. maybe you believe you're supposed to eat pizza with a knife and a fork. pizza, pizza, pizza. >> maybe he talks about pizza a little bit. but so what? he's the ceo of godfather's pizza. it makes he would talk about it. it's not like he's obsessed. it's not like he's singing songs to the tune to john lennon's "imagine" except he changed all the lyrics so it's all about pizza. ♪ imagine there's no pizza ♪ i couldn't if i tried ♪ eating only tacos ♪ or kentucky fried ♪ imagine all the burgers >> that's all we want to play because we don't want to get sued by yoko ono. it goes on like that for quite a
while. that was at an omaha press club back in 1991. who knew it would go together like pizza and beer? pizza is like politics. check this out from "saturday night live" a couple weeks ago. >> there's no better moto for the federal government than that of a pizza place. pizza doesn't come to your door unless you ask for it, but when you ask for it, pizza will be there in ten minutes. if you order it, pizza will come. it's 4:00 in the morning and you're high as a kite and the stuff in your fridge is weirding you out, if you order it, pizza will come. >> that was even before cain started rising in the polls like so much chicago style crust in a brick oven. here's snl from this past weekend. >> but unfortunately, there's no such thing as a two-slice pizza. so you keep stuffing yourselves full of herman cain. soon your tummy will be a gassy mess and you will go to bed and